Flabob High School Students Build Jet Engine

 - May 19, 2010, 12:57 PM

Anthony Mosallam and Jonathon Deming, students at the Flabob Airport Preparatory Academy in Riverside, Calif., designed and built a turbine engine for their high school’s annual science fair. The engine was made from auto parts and a leaf blower, which was used to provide air to start the engine. A Buick Regal turbocharger was used as the compressor, and propane powers the engine. Once lit off by a battery-powered lighter, “the engine spools up to operating speed and can be controlled by backing off or advancing the fuel,” according to the school. “The spark is then disconnected” and the engine keeps running. Although Mosallam and Deming haven’t added a nozzle to the engine, it still produces enough thrust to push itself, attached to a stand, across the floor, the school reported. “The students expect to continue development and would like to refine a model that’s useable for light aircraft flight.” Flabob is a charter middle and high school “emphasizing science, mathematics, engineering and technology, and using aviation as a context, example and motivator.”